The Rosetta project is focused on the Ross ice shelf in Antarctica. This shelf plays a critical role in stabilizing the Antarctic ice sheet, buttressing the ice that is constantly moving over the land surface. Studying how the ice, ocean and underlying land interact will inform us of potential change in the ice shelf from projected climate change. The IcePod instrument, shown along the front of the shelf, is a critical instrument in completing this project. Photo credit: Winnie Chu, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Working at 11,000 feet in the Sierras of California, Aaron Putnam, an adjunct professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and colleagues Adam Hudson and Ben Hatchett calibrate the location of a boulder along a glacial moraine. By measuring an isotope in rocks along the moraine, they hope to build a timeline of the glacier’s retreat, and get a better understanding of how climate affects snowfall and water supply in the region. No power tools are allowed in the wilderness area around Baboon Lakes in the Sierras of eastern California, so researchers chisel out rock samples by hand. Chipped off of boulders along a glacial moraine, the rocks will give scientists a timeline of the glacier’s retreat, and a way to measure the impact of climate changes on snowfall and water supply. Photo credit: David Funkhouser, Earth Institute
Arc magmatism like that in the Aleutian Islands is the most important process that generates the new crust that makes up Earth's continents. Understanding the genesis of plutonic rocks—those that crystallized from slowly-cooling magma—is the key to knowing more about continental crust formation. The Aleutian arc is a unique place to carry out such research because of the extensive exposures of plutonic rocks, perhaps more than any other such island arc on Earth. Researchers Peter Kelemen, Steven Goldstein, and Merry Cai of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Matthew Rioux of the University of California (UC), Santa Barbara, study central Aleutian plutons and lavas to answer long standing questions about the origins of Earth's continental crust.
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